BLU U12 vs Downend Flyer Eagles U12 – 26/11/23

Here we go! Back into the thick of it with the league matches. The girls were back after a weeks rest due to the awful weather, but at least it wasn’t raining this week. It was baltic and not only was I complaining about it, but all the girls were too. I vaguely remember that when it was lovely and sunny most of them said they prefer playing in the cold… After the warm up, which consisted of a lot of running and rondos, the starting line up was revealed. In goal, as always, was our skipper, the one and only Abbie. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to get a goal and continue her goal scoring form, but I prefer her saving all the goals in my opinion! In defence we had Immy, Anna and Eleanor, the most reliable back 3, cannot go wrong with any of them. In midfield we had Bonnie, Poppy and Sophie. A very energetic midfield and a skilful one, both wide players have the ability to skip passed players and Poppy always has the vision to find that forward pass. Finally, leading the line we had Zoe and Mila. Like the Yorke and Cole or Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. They both have 7 goals combined when they have played together and they have only played 1 game together and this is their second! Finally, our impact players we had Lois, Rosie and Grace. All three raring to come on, we know what Rosie gives the team, willingness to play in which ever position me and Tom need her to play in, always running and amazing energy, a true team player. Lois is always composed when she gets the ball, its like she has all the time in the world, always looking forward, she’s dangerous when she is standing over a set piece and we know she has a good shot on her if she receives it on the edge of the box. Grace we know she has plenty of goals in her, she never stops getting involved, always wants the ball and is ruthless in front of goal! Unfortunately, we didn’t have Tianna due to injury hopefully she will be back next week and Evie due to her climbing competition!

The game did not start how me or the girls would expect. After a miscommunication and the cold weather playing a part, the team couldn’t get into the groove. But after finding themselves 2-0 down the girls did not give up and gradually gained more and more possession, with a few chances to run at their defence. Bonnie using the width to her advantage, running down the line and getting crosses into the box. After 15 minutes we had Lois, Grace and Rosie come on to the pitch. A break through came when Mila received a pass, taking it in her stride and shrugging off all the Downend defenders who couldn’t stop her. She took her shot, hitting the underside of the crossbar and going in, the Downend keeper was stunned. Great goal and she’s on fire! We were getting closer to half time and having couple more opportunities, Grace came with the second. Corner kick from Lois, again contributing defensively, as well as assists and goals. It was a good cross and landed in the path of Grace, who fired it in! Only a couple minutes before she had near enough the same chance but just missed the ball narrowly. Grace with the resilience, not letting her head drop and back to scoring ways! There was chances both ways and the team got back into their groove. Some amazing defending from Immy, Anna, Eleanor and Lois. Constantly winning the ball back and playing it safe, not being worried about passing it back to Abbie and then recycling possession. After that entertaining half we came in at 2-2 and the comeback was on.

We started the 2nd half strong. Giving away a few chances but we definitely looked the more dangerous team. I can’t remember a clear cut chance Downend had and that was thanks to our defence. We saw Bonnie getting dropped into defence and, after complaining all game her toes were cold, she was winning the ball back and overlapping. Anna and Eleanor with amazing clearances and playing out from the back. Also, Immy with her signature runs and putting the ball into the box, trying many through balls and creating chances. We had a few chances with Zoe and Grace both breaking on the Downend defence. Poppy in the heart of midfield putting an amazing shift in as usual, always staying composed and shielding the defence. We saw Lois in midfield for a short spell, this girl can play any position! she had a chance at goal where she popped up on the edge of the box and had a shot but unfortunately it was just wide, but she can really hit one! Unfortunately for Downend, Mila was running through their defence and found herself in the box ready to shoot where she was then dragged down by the Downend defender and a penalty was given. Grace stepped up cool and collected, with a good track history scoring our last penalty, but unfortunately she went for the top corner and the Downend keeper (who was tall) made a good save. There will be more penalties in the future, but most importantly Grace did not let her head drop and the team’s heads did not drop which is so important. The girls were determined for this win and knew a draw was not a good result. The chance came again when Mila was again through on goal and not being dragged down this time she calmly finished – what a nightmare she was for Downend! Wow what a game it was even though we went down 2 goals the girls showed their resilience and did not let the weather or the score bring them down, playing like it was nil-nil. It was a class act. We didn’t play the best football but we will blame the conditions and not being able to train and the match fitness. We came back with the 3 points which is the most important part.

This week’s Star Player from myself and Tom went to Immy! So consistent, always getting involved in every tackle, she can progress with the ball and when it needs to be cleared she can get that ball up the pitch! Secondly, our Parents Star Player was won by Mila! She was magnificent in her 2nd competitive game for BLU’s and she has fitted in so well, also she is 3rd in the Golden Boot Race and played 2 games so far! I don’t love stats but that is an amazing one. Always, so positive, works her socks off and she has no fear! We move to the next game against Bradley Stoke and we are still on the road. Let’s keep up the wins!

Golden Boot Race:

1st Zoe – 9 Goals
2nd Tianna – 8 Goals
3rd Mila & Lois – 7 Goals
4th Grace & Evie – 6 Goals

BLU U12 vs Shine Saints U12 – 12/11/2023

After a couple of weeks off, the match reports have returned. Sorry to everyone and especially Emma but I thought it would be appropriate to have a break, after the situation that occurred during our last league game.

After that depressing first paragraph, the girls are back in full force to face Shine Saints. Going into the game the girls are still unbeaten with 4 wins and 2 draws, and ready to show the leaders that they will not let them run away with it. We have already played Shine earlier this season and won 9-0. This didn’t make the girls think it will be an easy game because no match is easy. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Tianna through illness and Grace. Hopefully, they will both be back for our next league game!

The tactics for this game was to give the defence a little bit more of a challenge. We started with Abbie in goal as usual not much I can say about our skipper that I haven’t said before always putting on the effort, consistent and always pushing the team. Immy and Eleanor in defence. Cannot say anything more about those 2, always looking to keep a clean sheet and protecting the goal. In midfield we had Bonnie on the right side to keep the width and same with Rosie on the left, Anna in central midfield to shield the defence and not allow Shine into our half and to rotate the ball and win possession back. We then had a front 3 of Zoe on the right wing, like Mo Salah to show off her lightning pace, Sophie on the left wing for her silky skills and to cut inside to shoot. Lastly, we had Mila leading the line on her league debut, but it didn’t faze her at all. The week before she played in a friendly against St Nicks and bagged 5 goals! She is quick, not afraid of a challenge and ruthless in front of goal. Finally, as our impact players, we had Poppy, Evie, and Lois. With impact players like that it’s like the Galactico’s at Real Madrid.

We played some good football. As everyone can see the goals at the bottom it was a one-sided game pretty much. I definitely cannot remember every single goal, but I will go through phases of the game and through the memorable goals. First half the girls were getting back into the rhythm after having a week off. The cold and wet weather didn’t help, coupled with the pitch already being absolutely hammered by the U11’s beforehand. Mila opened the scoring, with an absolute rocket and I felt sorry for the Shine keeper as it was high, and I don’t think even Mary Earp’s could have saved it Another memorable goal from Mila was she got the ball in a foot race against the Shine defenders and she breezed past and slotted it into the back of the net. After about 15 minutes we had all 3 impact players come on and what an impact they made. Lois came on and showed that if you don’t shoot you don’t score! Ball was in the box and Shine failed to clear and the ball fell to Lois and that’s all she needed, next thing you know the ball was in the back of the net. This gave her the confidence to bag 2 more goals later in the game. Evie also came on and showed her quality, creating chances, amazing crosses into the box, dribbling past many of the opponents and finishing off any chance near the goal. She bagged herself 2 goals, she is consistent and you can always rely on Evie to get a goal or create one. We saw Anna move from central midfield to the right midfield position where she can express her attacking ability and her lighting speed. Didn’t take her long to receive the ball and run down the line towards the goal and strike the ball and it hit the underside of the bar and straight in. Again, felt sorry for the Shine keeper there was nothing that could be done about that goal. This brings me back to summer when Anna was practising so hard on her shooting and it amazing to see all the girls improve!

We went into the second half 3-0 up. The girls knew they could get more. Zoe was hungry for a couple of goals. She had a chance after being slipped through a brilliant pass from Poppy. Unfortunately, Zoe didn’t get the desired connection and she was really disappointed as she always pushes herself and has high standards, but I thought Darwin Nunez was on the pitch instead of Zoe! Just joking Zoe!! (I am definitely going to get a ball to the face on Sunday from Zoe after that reference). Like me and Tom said on the side line, another opportunity will come and after a couple of minutes the ball was rolled across the box and Zoe calmly finishes it off and went to score another after! What can I say about Poppy, she had an amazing game against St Nicks last week and took that into this game. Came on and contributed with a goal for her team and steps up every week. She also had a spell in defence which was a different position for her, it was good to challenge her especially in a game like this where there is less pressure. We put Immy in a more advance position and it didn’t take her long to get the ball and sprint down the line towards the box. She was contemplating crossing it in but deep down she wanted that goal and as she was getting closer and closer, but there was no one in the middle to receive the tap in, so Immy just fired
it into the goal! She went on and scored again, she deserves it, another consistent player for the team. Never afraid and always puts in 100% of effort. Finally, the last goal went to our skipper. She didn’t have much to do during the game, she had a few touches but was comfortable during the whole match. Evie politely offered to go in goal so Abbie can come out. Nobody knows what position Abbie was playing, but she was in a blue bib and next thing had the ball and rocketed one in the back of the net. Great finish and just ruthless, nice to see the skipper getting on the scoresheet! She can do it at both ends, don’t think Earps could do that…

After all of that, Star Player was a hard one as everyone played well. There was so many goals and good team and individual moments. We both thought Poppy deserved Star Player as when she was on the field, she kept her discipline and played as it was 0-0 the whole game. Always looking for the pass and looking to create chances for her team. We also have a new award which is Parents Star Player! It will be on Spond and will be available to all parents to vote every game day. This week’s Parents Star Player went to Sophie! The first receiver of this award. Great achievement even though she didn’t get a goal, always kept trying and making so many runs. Her skills to get past players, always trying to play the ball and looking for the cross to create chances.

We have a friendly against Portishead this coming Sunday which will be a huge test for the girls as they are in the league above. Last meeting, we had with them was in the end of last season where we drew 2-2 but we should’ve won looking back. The week after we are back in the league against Bradley Stoke!

Poppy – Star Player
Sophie – Parents Star Player
Mila x5
Lois (Hattrick Hero)
Evie x2
Zoe x2

Immy x2

Written by Jamil Khan (U12 coach)

BLU U12 vs Longwell Green Lynxes U12 – 15/10/23

Third week running on the road for the girls. It’s getting colder now too, so make sure everyone starts wrapping up! Slightly later kick-off than we are used too but it was the 2nd round of the County Cup. The girls were ready and in high spirits and knew this would be a very hard and a competitive game. After our quick team talk, we saw our captain Abbie in goal as usual, hyped and ready for another game as they are coming thick and fast. Our back three for the start of the game were Eleanor, Lois and Immy. A very energetic and balanced defence with ball playing ability and amazing physicality. In the midfield we had Bonnie and Grace in the wide positions and Poppy in the heart of midfield to try and control the tempo of the game. Leading the line we had a new combination of Tianna and Zoe, to deal with the Longwell Green defence. As our impact player we had Anna and Rosie ready to come on and change the game!

The match started and it was bit cagey. Both teams were trying to find their feet in the game, but in my opinion we had control of both halves with Longwell Green having counter-attack moments in the game after we were attacking and the transition lead them to have chances. The game was very physical from the start, both sides showing determination to win the ball and keep possession. Bonnie running down the right hand side and getting the better of both their defender and their winger a few times. Tianna battling with their centre back and a few times getting away from her. Our three defenders doing their best to keep Longwell Green attackers quiet and playing balls out from all angles trying to find Tianna, Zoe and Grace. The first goal came from Bonnie running down the right hand side, Tianna and Zoe both occupying defenders, creating space for Grace to drop back and receive the cross from Bonnie in the box with a cool and composed finish from Grace, breaking the deadlock. After this the game opened up bit more and Longwell Green restarted knowing they needed to get back into this game. Unfortunately, shortly after they had a chance and was a good finish into the bottom corner which Abbie couldn’t get to. I know she was disappointed after having many weeks of keeping a clean sheet. After this minor setback we knew we had to get back into the game. We saw both Anna and Rosie come on to change the game. After, the changes we saw Tianna on the scoresheet again, a well worked goal and led to Tianna having a shot in the box and the Longwell Green keeper had no chance. We were back in the lead. Again and again we kept breaking the Longwell Green defence. It was a great battle between our attackers versus their defenders. Not long after we saw Tianna get swiped out by the Longwell Green centre back but she managed to keep the ball get back up and a cool finish. Unfortunately, a little help from the referee, apparently the whistle was blown for the foul when he should’ve played the advantage. Any other day that would’ve been a goal but unfortunately it didn’t go our way. Best thing is it didn’t stop Tianna or the girls and they kept doing what they do best and keep their heads up. Shortly after, we saw the Longwell Green centre back trying to progress with the ball and Immy came out and put a stop to that move. Winning the ball fairly, but unfortunately was called back as the Longwell Green player didn’t get back up but if play would’ve continued I think she would’ve had a clear run to goal. This was the last action of the half. We had many chances and came in 2-1 up but still a very shaky game.

Start of the second half was cagey again like the start of the match. Took about 10 minutes for the girls to get back into rhythm. Grace had a few chances, amazing runs from Bonnie, Rosie closing down Longwell Green players, the defence being solid as usual and Lois was in midfield trying to get a hold of the game. We had a few more chances at goal and Abbie pulled off some saves but was nothing to worry about. Amazing play from Abbie as usual, commanding her box and coming out to clear the ball. Towards the end we saw Longwell Green score a well worked goal unfortunately, slotted into the corner like the first goal, was a good finish. But the girls kept going and the resilience of the team was amazing. We had a chance from Grace that hit the post, chance from Poppy from the edge and Lois and Zoe gambling on a miss kick and through on goal, unfortunately hitting the post, but cannot blame her because while she was running she received an elbow to the chest which would put off anyone. This saw us draw the game and had to go straight to penalties. Me and Tom couldn’t have been any happier with that performance and more training and more games tough as this will help us improve even more. This is the beauty of competitive games and penalty is pot luck. Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day. But we will back in the County Cup next year and will come back even better!

Star Player went to Grace, after being ill and busy for a couple weeks she came back with a goal and well taken penalty. With her no-die attitude and not giving up, always trying and holding her own every game she plays! Sunday coming we have St Aldhelms in the league which we are still unbeaten in and the girls will want to keep it like that. We are at home so back to building the goals! (YAY!) Well done to all the girls and thanks to the parents for supporting. As I said before, the result doesn’t seem fair because of a dodgy decision but that happens in football even with VAR! But the girls were in high spirits and it won’t get them down, I know that for a fact.

Written by Jamil Khan (U12 coach)

BLU U12 vs Shine Saints U12 – 08/10/23

Second week in a row and we were on the road again! Both amazing weather and we don’t have to assemble the goals again = a win already. The girls were ready for Shine, a local derby (maybe?) as they’re just down the road. I genuinely will have to record footage of all games from now on if the girls keep up with these high scoring games, I can’t keep up! I can’t remember every single goal but will go through the memorable ones.

Tom and I opted for a very attacking formation this game. We had Abbie in goal which isn’t very attacking but there’s nothing getting past her! On a serious note another clean sheet, another game with amazing distribution, composer on and off the ball and that confidence from our captain flows through the team. We then saw Anna and Eleanor start in defence, they didn’t put a foot wrong the whole match and contributed massively to the clean sheet. Both stepped up when they needed to and kept that high line. We had Poppy take a more deep-lying/defensive midfielder role and I’m not sure if it was actually Poppy on the pitch or Keira Walsh, picking up the ball, looking for the gaps and having loads of shots. Out wide this week we had Tianna and Bonnie again. They have a scary amount of pace and I think the Shine defenders will have nightmares for a couple of days. We saw Sophie back from injury and illness, it was great to have her back and see the energy she gives to the team. Leading the line we had a partnership of Evie and Zoe. What a combination, composed, making runs all day and confident to run into space. Our impact players were Lois, Rosie and (for her first ever league debut) Valeria. They were ready and itching to go on.

We dominated from the start. I think Poppy enjoyed the pitch which was bigger than last week, she thrived with the space and Shine could not stop her and gave her too much time on the ball (which we all know is dangerous). Tianna and Bonnie kept the width really well and therefore had so much space to run into. Sophie, Evie and Zoe were keeping the 3 Shine defenders occupied and had opportunity to break the deadlock at the start. We saw Zoe bag the first goal, we did tell her it will come, she received it in the box and slotted it in with a composed finish. Not too long after Evie (back from her climbing competition and, thank goodness, not injured) bagged the second, also a confident finish and rifled it past the Shine keeper who couldn’t do anything about it. After 10 minutes we had all our impact players come on. Valeria slotting in on the left, Rosie in the attacking midfielder role and Lois with Eleanor in defence. This is the goal I have to mention. I said in my last match report, I said Rosie will get a goal and here it came into fruition. Rosie receiving the ball in the box like most of our goals in this game and had no other thought on her mind but making sure the ball was in the back of the net and that’s exactly what happened. Great goal and hopefully we will see Rosie on the scoresheet more often! She has been working so hard and playing in multiple positions for the team and she deserved that one. Valeria also came on and put in a shift for the team. Running constantly up and down and never letting the Shine players have a second on the ball. For her first competitive league game she did superb. It was also wonderful to see Sophie get a goal. Despite the set-backs over the past few weeks, shes already off and running, I’m sure she will keep it up! We saw Tianna on the score sheet again and she had many more chances where she probably knows she could’ve bagged a couple more. But it was another great goal and it doesn’t seem like she will stop anytime soon! Still leading the U12’s golden boot with 6 goals so far in 4 games. During the game we saw Poppy always picking the ball up on the edge of the Shine box with no defender insight and narrowly missing that goal. But it didn’t take her long to hit the back of the net, after just 15 minutes she got that well deserved goal, great finish and nice to see after constantly working hard for her team! This is the part I talk about honourable mentions such as Eleanor’s spell in midfield, she worked so hard and I know she’ll get a goal soon. She gives 100% for the team, never gives up and will play where ever she is needed. Then we have Anna, who was promised a spell in midfield by me and Tom. We saw her on the right wing and wow the pace some of these girls have is scary. Constantly, running down the line and crossing the ball into the box, which lead to Zoe’s 2nd goal of the game. Furthermore, Bonnie constantly putting in that hard work everywhere on the pitch, running past their players with ease and getting crosses into the box, she was unfortunate not to come away with a goal. Finally, Lois conducting everything from the back and what a versatile player she is. Picking out passes and switching the play to relieve pressure and never letting Shine have a rest. She was breaking up the play, creating chance and shooting from long range but unfortunately it wasn’t going into the back of the net today, but she will get many more opportunities this season. It ended in a convincing win for the U12s. 3 wins in the league so far and lets keep it up!

This week Star Player was Rosie! Always happy to play anywhere on the pitch and most of all getting that goal she deserved for her performances in the last couple of games. Like I said before hopefully it’s the start of many more for Rosie. We are on the road again next week for the GFA County Cup against Longwell Green Lynxes. Hopefully, we will see everyone on Wednesday!

BLUs U12s vs Clevedon United U12 – 01/10/23

This Sunday we were on the road after a week off following our win in the cup against St Aldhelms. We had an early start against Clevedon, who are one of the stronger teams in our league this season. And even though most of the girls looked like they have just woke up and some looked like they were out on the town all night, they were raring to go. We had some players out including Evie, who was at a climbing competition on Saturday (We all wish you luck Evie & please don’t get injured) and we had Sophie and Grace out due to illness unfortunately, but hopefully will be back for our next league game!

We lined up with Abbie in goal of course, with 3 clean sheets in all competitive games so far! Then we had Anna in her centre-back role, with Lois and Immy on either side. Rolls-Royce defenders that’s the only thing I can say to describe those 3! Then we saw Eleanor and Poppy in central midfield with Bonnie on the left and Tianna on the right. Leading the line today we had Zoe, always energetic and making constant runs which even makes me tired just watching! Finally, we had Rosie starting as our impact player and ready to come on and help the team and play wherever she is needed!

I think everyone knew it would be a tough game, and unfortunately we did maybe make it harder for ourselves (I will blame it on the early 10am KO). After the first 10 minutes we got into the groove and were dominating possession. Clevedon had a couple shots against Abbie but nothing to worry about, like a looping ball which Abbie plucked out of the sky. Couple chances but the ball just stuck to her hands as always (somebody needs to check those gloves). Commanding her box, we saw some rush goalkeeping with Abbie coming out and clearing the ball and some great pin point passing out. Another clean sheet, hopefully many more! The defence the whole game, Immy, Anna, Lois and Eleanor, when she moved there in the second half, were absolutely rock solid. They didn’t let Clevedon have any clear cut chances at all. The determination to get up the pitch and hold a high line, as well as strong clearances and helping with the attack. We couldn’t ask more of them. We saw Poppy run the game from the heart of midfield and won us a free kick in a dangerous area, and every time she got the ball she was being swamped by Clevedon players. But she could always find that pass between the lines and had the determination to not lose the ball, even when being sandwiched by red shirts. We tried our signature set-piece, which sees Immy receiving the ball from a short corner, but unfortunately narrowly missed on this occasion. 20 minutes into the half Tianna received the ball on the right hand side, running past multiple red shirts and firing it straight into the goal with the Clevedon keeper being rooted to the spot. What a goal, 1-0 BLUs!!! We saw Bonnie make some amazing runs as usually down the left hand size, always running her socks off and getting involved. It was time for Rosie to make an impact, helping Zoe upfront to work the Clevedon defence and straight away she had a chance in the box where she turned and had a shot but it went just over the bar! Would have been an amazing goal but it will come Rosie, I know for a fact. The half-time whistle blew and we were 1-0 up and the 3 points were looking likely! But the girls were disappointed we didn’t come into half time with more goals.

Second half we came out with a plan to keep the clean sheet and hopefully score a couple more goals. We set up with Lois in midfield and Eleanor moving to defence and Rosie on the left hand side and Poppy and Zoe upfront. The second half was similar to the first. It felt like we had more of the possession and Clevedon had a couple of chances but again no clear cut chances because of Anna, Immy and Eleanor being solid and winning all defensive duels and again Abbie catching anything coming near goal effortlessly. Towards the end we had a few chances with Bonnie running down the line and putting a couple of crosses in, as well as a few shots which the Clevedon keeper gathered and a few through balls that went straight to the Clevedon keeper. We saw Bonnie play striker for the last 15 minutes, she had a couple of chances on goal, as well as creating a chance for Lois who was playing on the left wing towards the end of the game, where we saw Lois in the box unmarked, a cross came from Bonnie on the right hand side but unfortunately Lois did not get enough contact on the ball as she would like. But on any other day that’s going into the back of the net. The final whistle was blown and 2 games into the league we are unbeaten, with 2 clean sheets and putting pressure on the team at the top!

Star player went to Immy for her determination to get forward and back, making clearances after clearances, looking for the pass and most importantly a calming performance in defence as usual. As me and Tom say every week, we could have given it to everybody but the team are playing for each other and it is evident on the pitch. There is a togetherness, a winning mentality and most importantly having fun! Hope everybody enjoyed that game and next Sunday we are on the road again to play against Shine!

Written by Jamil Khan (U12s Coach).

BLUs U12s vs Backwell Athletic Junior U12s – 10/09/2023

After a long week of sunshine and our victorious pre-season game. We were ready to build the new goals again and ready for the thunder, lightning and rain! Match reports will be back this season and right now I’m writing this in Bristol Airport, so it can be uploaded for Emma to read before she gets in the bath.

Today we faced a very inexperienced Backwell junior team. It was their very first match ever. This was our first ever competitive league game and our second game at our new home the BAWA! We did not disappoint with this game. There were lots of goals.

We lined up with our new captain Abbie in between the sticks! Safe pair of hands, confident and comfortable the whole game. Our back three we had what people call the Great Wall of China but we know them as Immy, Anna and Lois! In the midfield we didn’t have the overrated midfield of Havertz, Ødegaard and Rice but we had Poppy running the show with Bonnie and Evie off the wing. BLU’s didn’t have to pay £170 million for that midfield! Leading the line we had Zoe and Grace. An energetic front 2 with bags of pace and ruthless finishing. For our impact players we had Rosie, who came on in several positions, always reliable and calm on the ball, and Tianna with her unbelievable pace, strength and true winger instincts to get to the byline and looking for the cross.

I can’t remember all the goals. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting us to score this many! I will mention the more memorable ones in my opinion.

Clean sheet from our captain. There’s nothing more I expect from Abbie and that’s from the whole coaching team! Grace did start off our scoring for the league this season! Immy with a wonderful run from left back and I’ll say it was a shot but some may say it was a cross! (A ‘crot’ in true Beth Mead style). Nonetheless, great finish and constant grafting, breaking up play and winning the ball back possession. Evie dancing past the defence and ruthlessly finishing leaving the goalie no chance. Bonnie with a goal and assist for Zoe’s goal. Bonnie crossed it in and Zoe waiting for her chance on the penalty spot just like Gary Lineker! Anna getting a chance further forward as she only touched the ball once in the first half. She didn’t disappoint by bagging herself a goal, a pass came across the box, Anna controlled and with confidence finished it like a professional. If we carry on like this golden boot will be interesting this season, with Grace and Tianna leading the race so far!

It was a good start! But we have to stay grounded, we enjoyed this game but we will have harder games coming. Especially next week with the cup game! Star player this week went to Lois, she had a great game, playing in many positions and slotting in without a hiccup. Amazing passing, switching play, had plenty of shots and bagged 2! Great start to star player, anyone could’ve got it everyone played fantastically. On to next week and good luck to everyone in the squad, let’s get into the next round!

Goal Scorers
Grace – Hat-trick
Own Goal
Lois – Double
Tianna – Hat-trick
Evie – Double

Written by Jamil Khan (U12 coach)

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs Emersons Green U10s

After many weeks of not having a game. We have finally managed to organise one. It was great to see the girls up for their first 9 aside game with OFFSIDES! After waiting 40 minutes to get the gates open and a quick warm up from Isla. We lined up with Abbie in goal obviously. We had Leah, Susie and Eleanor in defence. We adopted a new role today for Rosie and that was the central defensive midfield (CDM) position. Zoe and Bonnie providing the width and Isla in the middle of the park. Finally leading the line, one of our star number 9’s Sophie.

The game started well with it being very even against Emerson’s. The girls were trying to get the match intensity back after not playing for several weeks. But they got it back and we were in gear. Abbie as always helping her team out the best way she can – literally saving everything that came her way. At one point tackling with her feet in her own box. Really improving her distribution with the long kicks to Sophie, who showed amazing pressing from the front. Really applying the pressure to the Emerson’s defenders. Leah, Susie and Eleanor provided a really solid foundation for the team, playing out with the ball and most importantly trying their best to stop all of the Emerson’s attackers. Rosie was receiving the ball off the defenders and trying to find the likes of Zoe, Isla and Bonnie, so they can create chances. Zoe showing real strength by staying on the ball and really getting her body in the way, and trying to move the team up the pitch. Darting runs by Bonnie on the other side, leaving Emerson players looking at the number on her shirt. Eleanor like Maldini at the back calm under pressure. Leah providing powerful clearances. Susie anchoring the defence, organising and when she is needed she puts a crunching tackle in. Sophie getting on the end of all the clearances and trying to create chances for all the other attackers, running into space and trying to cross the ball into the box. Isla receiving the ball and fired a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar leaving the Emerson’s goalie standing like a statue. Unfortunately, luck was not on our side. We saw the introduction of Lexie and Evie. Lexie trying out in defence, she did not look out of place, really fighting for the ball and getting stuck in. Evie was the next player to play in our CDM role and I have never seen skill like that in the middle of the park, leaving Emerson Green player stranded. Really getting into the grips with that role. A lovely give and go by Zoe and Evie, saw Zoe running down the wing. After Isla’s amazing effort, she then slotted Sophie in with a lovely weighted pass and Sophie doing exceptionally well to stay onside. No doubt Sophie was going to slot it in the back of the net, bagging us a goal. That was the end of the first half.

Second half, the girls came back on and were ready and pumped to try get something out of the game.  We were creating chances but it was not falling for the girls, which left them frustrated. We had more darting runs from Bonnie and amazing strength pushing people off the ball and winning possession back. We had some amazing tackles and some theatrical diving from the opposition. Isla providing lovely crosses for the team unfortunately no one getting on the end of them. We had Eleanor cameo on wing to provide lots of width, being really positive with her play and trying to push everyone up the pitch. Sophie showing another positive performance encouraging everyone and making darting runs in space and her hold up play, at one point she caught the ball and provided her own display of the hand of god (next time Sophie just near the goal and less obvious please!). Great coverage from all of our midfield and wingers. Loads of running and being strong on the ball. Creating chances and just enjoying playing most importantly. All the players that played in defence today really put a shift in trying to protect Abbie. But unfortunately we found out today Abbie’s hands are not indestructible and she has sustained a sprain to her wrist. Hopefully she has a speedy recovery and we will see another great display at the tournament. If not all the Liverpool supporters in the team will go in goal – (Jamil’s idea).

This season we have had amazing performances from the girls. So much improvement and for their first season playing competitive football and already making the step up to 9aside it can only get better with time. Thanks to all of our support home and away (insert hashtag BLUARMY). We will hopefully see everyone on Wednesday. Rest up for the tournament, we are looking to win every game!

Written by Jamil Khan (U10s coach).

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs Weston Mendip U10s

With a 10am kick off we had to arrive bright and early at Canford for a sunny (but chilly) match against Weston Mendip. Our morning didn’t start off great by us having to set up camp on the opposite end of the pitch compared to usual (I’m not usually superstitious…) but we went about it graciously and got on with our warm up.

Let’s all forget about the first 2 minutes of the match and go from there. We had Poppy (last week’s star player) starting off upfront for us, confidently dribbling the ball through their players and making her way up the pitch. She was backed up by Zoe, Isla and Bonnie in midfield, who worked well together to win back any loose balls and feed them to Poppy. Our starting defenders were Eleanor and Rosie, further backed up by BLU’s very own Ellie Roebuck (aka Abbie) in goal. Abbie was in action a lot in the first half, keeping her on her toes. Starting off her strong performance by showing us a blinder of a save when they were awarded a freekick right on the edge of the box. Not long after, Isla was awarded a corner-like freekick on the edge of their box, but we all know Isla wouldn’t miss an opportunity to try and score a wonder goal. She sent an on target, bend-it-like-Beckham-style freekick at the goal but the goalkeeper just managed to get her hands on it. So close! Susie and Rosie were on their toes in defence, when a quick counter-attack saw a 4v2 on the edge of our box, our defenders quickly stopped them in their tracks and got the ball back in BLU possession before passing it on to our tracking-back midfielders. Our subsititutions were regular and quick to ensure everybody got their well-earned breaks. Sophie had enough energy to power Bristol, and despite being upfront, was putting in a Sam Kerr-like shift by covering the whole pitch and winning the ball back in all areas. A scrappy bit of play in their box saw Poppy, Bonnie and Zoe attacking and nearly hitting the back of the net, but the goalkeeper saved it again. Half-time was almost upon us, Eleanor and Niamh were working well together in defence, covering each other and taking turns to go up the pitch. The whistle was blown.

A quick team talk and encouragment at half-time saw the girls ready for the second half. It didn’t take long for Isla to demonstrate her Lauren Hemp inspired runs, dribbling through the whole of the opposition team and almost bagging her first goal of the game but just sending wide, so close again! A quick switch around saw Rosie come on in midfield and Evie on in defence. Although these were not their usual positions, they settled in well and confidently took on the role. Rosie was backed by Susie in defence, who was tactically supplying her with the ball, Rosie then demonstrated confident and well-composed dribbling, taking it all the way into their box but unfortunately nothing came of the good setup. Evie seemingly turned into Lucy Bronze at right back, performing all of the skills and turns under the sun, deceiving their players and travelling up the pitch, before supplying it to Zoe and Bonnie in midfield. We were soon awarded a throw-in up by their goal. A beautiful long throw by Isla (similar to that of Liverpool’s Megan Campbell) into the box saw it bounce off of multiple people’s heads and end up in the back of the net!! (In all honesty we have absolutely no idea who it came off of last!). The difficult match was slowly coming to an end but there was still enough time left for Abbie to do a wonderful double save. A bottom corner shot saw her dive on the floor, unfortunately the rebound landed directly at their other attacker’s feet, but not to worry, Abbie was straight back on her feet and caught the shot in her safe hands. Niamh was also demonstrating her composure at the back, passing any balls that she won confidently to Evie (her fellow defender) or to Zoe infront of her in midfield. The final whistle was blown.

Well done to everybody in a very tough match, we made sure to fight till the very end. Our Star Player (only one this week) was awarded to Evie for her performance in defence, staying calm on the ball and demonstrating every skill possible to get past their attackers, as well as supporting her fellow defender.

Written by Ellie Haines (U10s coach).

Bristol Ladies Union U10s vs St Nicholas Youth U10s

2 days in a row and I am just getting into the flow of writing these reports. Firstly, let me start off by saying what an amazing game and the confidence shown from all the girls. 12pm KO and we were ready after a successful tournament the day before. Furthermore, the girls were looking for revenge from when we last played them. We also played 8-aside which was suggested by the St Nicks coach. The starting line up we saw obviously Abbie Neuer in goal, with Rosie and Susie or the reincarnation of Rio Ferdinand and Vidic. In midfield we had Isla, Bonnie and Zoe and just in front we had Sophie taking on a centre attacking midfielder (CAM) role and finally our other star striker Poppy leading the pack today. On the bench we had Alice, Evie and Eleanor. They were ready to come on and make an impact. Unfortunately, we were also missing our other class defenders in Leah and Niamh. Hopefully we will see them back in action next week!

As expected from the first whistle the girls were pressuring St Nicks and pinning them back. Isla creating chances in abundance as usual. Amazing vision to set up Poppy and Sophie with many through balls to open the St Nicks defence. Rosie showing her strength and determination surrounded by 4 players at one point but still coming away with the ball. Susie once again sweeping and protecting our goal. Many clearances especially one that caught a St Nicks player in the face (definitely did not want to get in the way of that one). Then we saw amazing link up play like prime Cole and Yorke from Poppy and Sophie. With Poppy holding up the ball and playing a pass for Sophie to run on too. Unfortunately, the St Nicks goalie was ready and retrieved the ball. Straight after we saw a pass from Isla to Poppy who shot with the outside of her foot and it just went wide. Zoe then won the ball back from the goal kick and dribbled past the most of the St Nicks player – it was very Messi-esque. But unfortunately the goalie was in the way again. 15 minutes into the game we finally broke the dead lock. A wonderful pass from Poppy to find Isla who slotted it in the bottom corner. Honestly, Isla is on fire I wish I had her on my Fantasy Premier league. We then saw Evie again with her Rory Delap inspired throw. And her determination with tracking back and attacking the St Nicks goal. Many good runs made by Evie and her commitment and stepping into defence for the team. When St Nicks managed to trouble us we didn’t have to worry as Eleanor, Rosie and Susie were tackling and trying to stop everything they could for the team. Especially Eleanor showing her strength and aggression to win the ball back. If anything did manage to get past the defence we saw Abbie catch everything, come out of her box and clearing the ball up the pitch and even emphatic rolling – at least it wasn’t muddy today! We also saw Bonnie cover literally every blade of grass. This girl doesn’t stop, always running and contributing, amazing strength and lightning speed. Finally, we saw Alice coming on in the striker position controlling the ball and running at the St Nicks defenders and causing a havoc. Even getting some shots off and starting off some lovely link up play. This saw the end of the first half and the girls were not slowing down.

Start of the second half we saw Rosie go into the CAM role. Seeing Rosie advance in the final third and creating chances and also doing her defensive duties. Also, Rosie left frustrated still chasing her first goal of the season, great shots but the keeper was matching it. Zoe got 99 dribbling on her. Going past everyone, getting kicked and still not falling down. Great determination. We saw a lovely pass from Bonnie to Isla and it went just wide. Amazing play from our maestros in midfield the whole game. Poppy then showcased her amazing snapshots. Turning and shooting first time. Unlucky as it went just wide. Have to say this game the amount of pressing from all the girls was amazing. Especially, Sophie who was closing down the St Nicks players and nearly getting a lucky deflection which led to her shot on goal. Finally, we bagged our second of the game with a throw from Zoe into space for Isla who took a touch and winded back her wonder of a right foot and it could not have been saved. So many great performances if I keep writing it will end up being a Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Today’s star player was difficult as everyone gave their all and it was such a hard call but our first star player was Abbie for making incredible saves and providing an amazing distribution and outlet for the rest of the team. Our second star player was Poppy for her amazing link up play, creating chances for herself and her other attacking team mates and finally constantly being a threat, another true number 9 performance. Big shout out to the BLU army! The support was unbelievable and louder than Man City’s empty-had ever is. To end the match report I just wanted to say Happy Mother’s Day to all the mum’s. You really deserve it and hope this win made your day even more. See you all soon against Weston at home next week!

Written by Jamil (U10s coach).

U10s Portishead Tournament

Back again doing match reports! Mine are way better than Ellie’s so everyone’s in for a treat this evening.

Started off bright and early today. All meeting up at Portishead ready for our first ever tournament. This tournament the girls did so well and played in numerous positions and never stopped trying their best. We had today Abbie, Niamh, Susie, Eleanor, Isla, Zoe, Rosie, Sophie and finally making her first ever debut Lexie! Unfortunately we couldn’t take everyone as we could only take 9, but we have a game tomorrow afternoon!

On to the important part game time. We first played Bradley Stoke. Starting off with Abbie in goal as usual (safest hands in the South West!). In front of her Niamh and Susie. In the middle of the park we had our captain Isla, Zoe and Rosie trying out for a left/right wing spot! Followed by today’s star striker Sophie. Great passing from the girls and really pinning back Bradley Stoke – who barely had a sniff at goal. Pass fizzed into Isla with an amazing touch. Isla turned then was through in on goal with an amazing dummy to send the Bradley Stoke goalie the wrong way so she can slot it in to an empty net. Straight after Rosie intercepted the ball and played a first time pass to Zoe who was in space and running on to the ball and nothing the goalie could do. Finally, it was Lexie’s turn to make her debut and she was really up for it. Working really hard and closing down and applying immense pressure on the Bradley Stoke defence. We saw Eleanor come on in the heart of midfield. Great interchanging play a pass from Lexie to Sophie and then to Eleanor who was running through in on goal with a powerful shot but the goalie was equal to it! (Was a really good chance). Lexie from the wide providing amazing crosses into the box like prime Beckham unfortunately no one in the box to snatch at the chance. Finally we saw another change seeing Susie moving into midfield. We had a cross and it gave Isla a chance to swing one in and it fell to Susie who tapped it in to seal the win. (Susie has won it!! Sorry another United pun from the 99 treble winning side). Susie’s first goal of the season and hopefully many more to come! Barely spoke about the defence as they literally stopped everything. Niamh showing a lovely defensive performance winning the ball, playing passes out from the back and dealing with the long ball as the ground was making the ball bounce a lot! Same with Eleanor and Susie who were not troubled at all for the whole game. 3-0 win to BLU! (First ever tournament win).

Onto the next game which was slightly more frustrating for the goals. Felt like we had all the better chances but they were not falling to us. Had many good shots from Rosie, Lexie and Sophie. Still cannot fault the defenders we were solid at the back with Susie and Niamh. Both which are miles better than Maguire. One of them should’ve got a call up from Southgate instead in my opinion! Goal soon came to us from an amazing goal kick from Abbie, matched by Sophie’s lovely touch to control the ball who saw Isla’s run in behind the defender. Lovely weighted pass and a pure strike from Isla to put it past the keeper! After that the girls tried their best to try and put the game to bed but it wasn’t happening. All the girls put 100% effort in and it was on too the next game. Which we had to wait 40 minutes for which no one was happy about!

Final game was against Portishead (Pink Kit). The girls were out for revenge and eagerness too play after a long wait. We started off more attacking this game as it was the last. We had obviously the best goalie Abbie and in front Susie was the lone defender. Eleanor playing in a central defensive role like a Roy Keane or a more modern player like Declan Rice. We saw Eleanor cover every blade of grass and really winning the ball back for the team. Niamh also came into the same role as the defensive midfield player. Nothing got past her either. At times it looked like we had Paul Ince and Fabino. The quality of the football was superb and the girls played in various positions they haven’t played before and were outstanding. Providing Susie with a lot of protection which she didn’t need. Tom’s new nickname for her the ‘Rock’ as no one and nothing got past her. Playing with loads of confidence especially in defence by herself. Then we had a midfield 3 of Isla, Zoe and Rosie with Lexie leading the pact to our second win of the day! Again this game saw the girls dominate and really pressuring and pinning back the opponents. Firstly, we saw the ball falling from the air Zoe managed to get great contact on the ball and slot it into the back of the net. Couple minutes after we saw Isla get in on the action. A true contributor and in comparison she’s a Bruno Fernandes and she’s in better form! Finally, it’s never right Sophie not getting in on the action. After getting winded she came off had some of Chloe’s amazing squash, composed herself and came back on like a champ. Portishead goalie was in possession which led to Sophie chasing the ball down, leading to a pass that deflected back off Sophie and into the back of the net. Just moments before she was winded. Great anticipation and pressing from Sophie a true number 9. By this point I lost my pen and couldn’t write anymore… but everyone played amazingly well and we are lucky to have a group of girls like this. Probably the best football I have watched in months as a United fan and every Sunday I can’t wait to watch the girls play.

Amazing work today from the girls that came. Hopefully soon we will be at a tournament where everyone can come and we can show that BLUs U10s are not the team that get beaten easily. Big shout out to Lexie playing her first game with us. Especially as I don’t get to see her at Wednesday training now I know why Ellie always raves about her! All the defensive actions and getting back and working hard for the team. Abbie also with 2 clean sheets and amazing distribution which saw us through on goal many times. The immense midfield. And the striking power we have is unbelievable. We will all see you tomorrow at 11:30am at Canford for a 12pm KO!

Written by Jamil Khan (U10s coach).